Friday Five: It’s July, It’s Hot, and I’m NOT Ready for It to Be Over!

It was really less than a month, but I feel like I haven’t talked to you guys in ages so now I just want to blurt out EVERYTHING that comes to my mind! Seriously!  I never shared about riding Josh’s submarine back into port in June. I skipped over a little reintegration snafu Josh and I had to work through a few weeks later, and I never got to share about the simple, unplanned summer activities the kids and I have been enjoying so far! I feel like coming back to Back on Land right now is like seeing your best girlfriend from two duty stations ago at the airport! Let’s all squeal, pretend we’re running towards each other, and then hash out our time apart over martinis!!!

Too much? Yeah … I don’t really squeal so instead I’ll just break down a Friday Five from a few things on my mind this week.

Friday Five at Back on Land

one …

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous lately. I am in heaven! It’s been warm, sunny, and perfect … unless you ask a native Washingtonian. I actually heard someone on the radio say, “It’s literally hotter than hell,” on a day that topped out in the low 90’s. They don’t even know heat! Our years stationed in Georgia with temps in the 100’s with 80-90% humidity, now THAT’S heat! But don’t worry, Washington …

two …

July (you know, the month of hotter than hell) is o-v-e-r … and I really have no idea where it went. I feel my summer crumbling away from me, and I’ll be honest … it’s freaking me out! I’m not ready for back-to-school. I’m not ready for waking up early and school buses and homework folders because …

three …

All three of my kids will be in school this year! ALL THREE!!! And in three different schools no less. A college student/high school Senior, a Freshman, and a Kindergartner. They’ll all start and end school at different times, ride different buses, and of course, have different after-school activities that are going to have both me and my husband running around like crazy people. Seriously, I realized today that if everyone makes it to every place they need to be (all DIFFERENT places, of course), my husband and I will never get to watch a swim meet together.

Patiently waiting for her turn in the pool! ❤️ #proudmom #swimmom #Summer2015

A photo posted by backonland (@backonland) on

And to make matters more confusing …

 four …

Did I mention I’m looking for real, outside-the-home, paid-for-a-change work? Yep! I’m headed back to the rat race, but it’s been five years since I taught dance classes in Groton. Hmmm … I’ll be honest. This process is a little intimidating! Yes, I’ve volunteered … A LOT. Yes, I’ve heard all the advice about transferable skills, but I’m afraid my Ombudsman duties and Compass classes just might not stack up next to another applicant who’s had an ACTUAL J-O-B recently. If you could cross your fingers and say a tiny little prayer for me to find a good job soon, I’d really appreciate it!

five …

In the meantime, I just keep telling myself summer is not over just yet. I have four beautiful weeks until I have to turn on an alarm clock, pack lunches, and live on a schedule again, and I am going to make the most of it. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a family day trip so this weekend, we’re getting out of dodge. Maybe take stroll down in the woods or catch a concert in the park. I don’t know exactly what yet but something because no matter how “hot” it is right now, Washington really is beautiful in the summertime, and more than anything I want to cherish every moment!

Do you have big plans for the weekend? Ready for vacation or still recovering? You can follow whatever fun I find on Instagram this weekend!

40 By 40: My Brand New Bucket List!

This week I was totally inspired by Krista over at See You Next Tuesday and her post 30 Before 30, a bucket list of thing she wants to do before she turns 30, and I decided I’d do the same! Of course, I missed the “turning 30″ boat by a mile, but with just a year and a half left before “pushing forty” becomes a bad party with black balloons and an Over the Hill cake, I figure now is as good a time as any to set a few goals and put a black streamer finish line at the end.

Cupcake with sprinkles and  a sparkler over a blue background.

  1. Visit Alaska. It’s the only state I haven’t visited.
  2. Visit Mt. Rainier. Touch a glacier.
  3. Finish all my Christmas shopping before December 1st.
  4. Learn to bake something sweet completely from scratch that tastes amazing.
  5. Run a 5k in under 30 minutes.
  6. Complete the #40bagsin40days challenge with White House Black Shutters. (Even if it takes more than 40 days)
  7. Lose weight. Lots of it.
  8. Go paddle boarding.
  9. Attend the Navy ball here in Washington. (It’s the only Ball we haven’t been to here.)
  10. Get a J-O-B.
  11. Start a collection.
  12. Monetize this blog.
  13. Sew something big … like a ball gown or just something with buttons. (Button holes are hard, guys!)
  14. Recover the love seat all by myself.
  15. Create the perfect master bedroom.
  16. Buy a house.
  17. Finish my cookbook. (It’s not for publishing. It’s just for me and hopefully someday my girlies.)
  18. Go to a drive-in movie.
  19. Write and publish a book.
  20. Start sitting on the front porch. (This will make more sense later, I promise.)
  21. Camp at Crescent Lake.
  22. 39 RAKs for #39
  23. Complete a one-year postcard challenge. (If you’ve been around a while, you know what I’m talking about; if not, more on this soon.)
  24. Spend a day in silence. (Harder than button holes.)
  25. Spend a weekend (or two) away with my husband, and leave the kiddos at home.
  26. Take a cooking class with Josh.
  27. Perfect my capsule wardrobe. Also give it a new name. Capsule is a weird word.
  28. Finish all the baby books. (Yes, all three, and yes, I have a 17 year old with an unfinished baby book. Don’t judge.)
  29. Finish the photo albums. (Voted: Least Likely to Actually Happen.)
  30. Watch my oldest graduate from high school. (Also scarier than button holes.)
  31. Get off my blood pressure meds. They suck.
  32. Renew my wedding vows.
  33. Get published somewhere big. A magazine, a hot blog, something.
  34. Make a queen-sized t-shirt quilt for my bed.
  35. Take a class and learn something completely new.
  36. Travel somewhere ALONE.
  37. Go to a concert.
  38. Read this list of 100 Books to Read before You Die.
  39. Hike to Hole in the Wall.
  40. Go on a cruise. (Last because I actually want to do this ON my 40th birthday.)

I’ll be blogging most of my 40 By 40 here, of course, but if you want to see it all follow me on Instagram with #BOL40by40 or on my 40 By 40 Pinterest Board and of course on Facebook!

So what’s on your bucket list? Do you have any milestone lists you’re working on?

State of the Blog (AKA I Just Can’t Quit You …)

Soooo I’m back.

I don’t want to dwell on my time away too much, but I do think I owe you a bit of an explanation and a sneak peek at what the future holds for this little blog.

Teen girl sitting with a laptop

When I last posted, I truly felt done. I’d just finished up a very stressful deployment, was in the middle of some pretty big transitions, and was just plain tired from juggling too many responsibilities for just too damn long. Can any of you relate? I’m feeling some major head-nodding happening, amiright?

I also felt that my entire life had been taken over by Navy-wife-ness. (Is that a word? It is now.) Between four years of Compass, two years of Ombudsman duties, and four years of attending every FRG meeting, social night, kids event, and potluck meet-up, as well as writing about all the Navy things here and … oh, yeah … living it for nearly 20 years, the Navy-wife-ness of it all was weighing me down.

I’ve never felt that way before, and I didn’t really know how to handle it. So I decided to quit everything all at once. I wanted to leave the FRG, resign from the Ombud job, ignore Compass, and just pretend to be a regular civilian mom in a normal “submarine? what’s a submarine?” kind of family.

And so I tried to do just that … and it worked about as well as an ostrich hiding its head in the sand … which is to say not at all. Turns out you can’t just stop doing the things when you’re an adult. (Weird, huh?) 

I did get some chill out time though. I have done some serious head-clearing and re-prioritizing and getting-back-to-what’s-important-to-me-and-my-fam deep thinking. I’ve had some long talks with my handsome husband about our future and what we need to do to get there. I’ve also napped a lot, picnicked more than any summer before, and read a great deal of books I don’t usually have time to read (but that’s a lesson for another post …), and what it all boils down to is this.

I need to let some old things go.

As my sailor transitions away from this command in the coming months, I will be stepping down as Ombudsman and stepping away from a wonderful FRG.  I won’t be leaving Compass completely, but I am going to have to take a few HUGE steps back from those responsibilities as well. In some ways this is a huge relief, and in some ways I feel more than a little sad. Luckily, a wonderful, supportive friend of mine recently reminded me that sometimes saying no to someone else is really saying yes to yourself. I’ll be clinging to that as I move forward.

I also need to start focusing more on my family. I need to ask myself one question everyday and with every opportunity that comes my way. Will this add value to my family, or will it just take me away from the family? If something adds value and helps us work toward our goals, it’s a keeper. If not, the answer is no.

But where does this leave my little bloggy-blog?

Well, as it says in the title … I just can’t quit you. I have poured my heart into my little space on the internet, and now is just not the right time to let it go. Blogging makes me happy. It gives me an outlet for thoughts and emotions that sometimes even help other people. Me without an outlet definitely takes away from my family so I’ve decided it is NOT the right time to leave Back on Land behind.

It is, however, the right time to make some changes. In the beginning this blog was meant to be about my life back on land, not just the Navy-wife-ness of it all, but over time it became all about the acronyms and the uniforms and the missing-him-so-bad-it-hurts moments. I miss writing about the other stuff. Sooo …

What You Will See Here (And a Few Things You Won’t)

  • I’m aiming for two posts a week. Less than that feels like not-blogging and more than that seems like a recipe for burnout right now. So two it is for now.
  • A mix of tops from deployment and reintegration to back-to-school prep and my current job hunt and desire to minimalize my home. You know, all the things we all go through, not just the things the Navy makes us go through.
  • The newsletter … this is on the “what you won’t see” list for now. It isn’t gone, but it is on vacation until I figure out some more interesting than “Hey, did you read what you already read on my blog this week?” You’re welcome. 😉
  • Milspouse Spotlights and I Am, I Love, I Do … I’m taking a break from those two series as well. If you were scheduled to appear here before I went on hiatus, I’m so sorry. I would still love to share your businesses and posts on Social Media so please keep sharing them with me!
  • YOU! I want to hear from you. If you have a question to ask of me that you’d like to see answered here, or if you’d like to ask a question of all my reader friends on Facebook, shoot me an email at jodi@backonland.com. I really want to hear from you! <3

So there you have it. I’m so excited to get back to Back on Land and to you! I know I may have lost a few readers due to my hiatus, but I hope to win you all back with a new directions, some new plans, and a bunch of new posts about my life Back on Land.

Okay, I Tried. (It’s Not Working.)

Did you ever want something so much … or maybe you just thought you wanted it … and you just couldn’t make it work? That’s kind of how I feel about this little blog space here.

I simple cannot write anymore Navy Wife Life posts here. I’m all Navy Wife’d out. (Is that a thing? I think it must be…) Neither can I seem to put pen to paper about anything else here because it just feels wrong to write anything but Navy Wife Life in blog whose header reads “My sailor deploys, and I navigate life … Back on Land.”

So … I’m saying good-bye to Back on Land. It was a good blog with a nice little run, but I need to move on. The posts here will stay up for a while until I figure out what a person does with a poor, no longer written, little blog at its end.

I kinda feel like I ought to have a small ceremony … or be wearing a black veil … or something …

Too much? Probably.

Anyways, my blog life isn’t over. I tried that too over the last month, and I am just drawn to my little online world so I will still be writing, just from a different perspective and about different things. I’ve started a new, very small blog to journal my transition to … whatever is next.

It’s called Jodi Under Construction. You can click over now (there’s a new post up already), and you can also follow me on Facebook (there’s a brand new very empty Facebook page just waiting for likes). My Instagram link is the same, though I changed my name from Back on Land to jodi_us, so you can continue to follow my photos of flowers and kids and food and trees and skies.

Thank you … for always reading my stuff, for knowing how hard Navy life can be, and for just being here while I shared vented about it all.

 

A Back on Land Update

Oh, Back on Land, my poor little neglected blog. Counting the words you’re reading right now, I’ve posted only three times in the entire almost-over month of June. I’ve taken breaks from this blog in the past for sure, but this time it feels different. Things have changed, and I’m not sure how to proceed.

Here’s the thing. This blog was originally supposed to be about my life “back on land” … the things I do, I love,  or am working towards as, not just a NAVY WIFE, but as a whole person who just happens to be married to a Sailor. I wrote about recipes for bubbles and my then-dislike for Washington for a while, but then I began writing about deployment and homecomings and maildrops and how to’s and Top 10 Ways, and the entire blog became about the NAVY side of my life. It was great for  while, and I got a lot of wonderful comments, emails, and Facebook messages from you guys thanking me for certain posts that helped you and commiserating with me about posts that struck a chord in your life or memories. Your kind words have meant so much to me. They are, in fact, the reason this blog became so navy wife focused.

But, as they say, times they are a’changing. My sailor just finished his (knock on wood, hopefully) last patrol and is looking forward to an exciting new shore duty very soon. I will be leaving behind my Ombudsman responsibilities and an FRG I have grown to love and depend on over the past five years. My children are all moving ahead in school … one to her senior year and college part-time, one to her first year of high school, and the youngest to big kid school (aka kindergarten). I will be a bus-stop-mom .. there for drop off and pick up and somehow filling the hours in between.

I could write during those hours … I’d looooove to write during those hours, but about what? With deployments behind me, FRG just a memory, no more halfway boxes or maildrops, I find that all the things I’ve spent the past few years sharing with you are in my past, and my future is … wide open in a super-scary, what-the-hell-do-I-do-now kind of way.

Is there anything to write about a Navy family on shore duty? I don’t know.

Are those hours between pick-up and drop-off going to be exciting enough to share with you? I sure hope so. 

Will these changes in my life change the face of Back on Land? Definitely.

I love my little blog, every single post I’ve shared here, and I love reaching and touching my readers and friends with my experiences and stories so I truly hope you’ll hand around and see what comes next for me and my family. I’m sure I will still post about our military family life from time to time, but right now I’m not sure what will come in between.

Here’s what I do know:

  • I don’t want to give up on my little blog.
  • I do want it to grow up with me as my family and I move through these changes, and …
  • I will be back on July 1st with a slightly different look and something new  to share.

Oh! I know one more thing! I know that I really, really, really want you to stick around and share this exciting, scary, and sure-to-be-awesome adventure with me!

Thanks, Jodi